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Veterans Make Great Truck Drivers

We salute those who served

Returning veterans sometime have a difficult time finding a job or getting back into the swing of everyday life in America. The solution for many veterans is a career in CDL Truck Driving! The trucking industry is in need of new drivers, and veterans are often excellent candidates for trucking jobs!

Returning veterans sometimes have difficulty finding a job or getting back into the swing of everyday life in America. The solution for many veterans is a career in CDL Truck Driving! The trucking industry needs new drivers, and veterans are often excellent candidates for trucking jobs!

The skills and experience veterans gain while in the service are very needed and appreciated in the trucking industry. Things like dependability and teamwork are instilled through the military and are a few qualities carriers look for in truck drivers. Veterans also have a few unique advantages in the trucking industry that make the career an excellent fit!

Why veterans are such a good fit for CDL trucking jobs

Professional truck driver Nathan Waite, who drives for Stallion Transportation Group, is an Army veteran who says he learned to pay attention to detail in the military.

“We have to constantly monitor our truck, inspect it, and make sure everything is what it’s supposed to be,” he says.1 He goes on to say that he also learned self-discipline. “It takes a lot of self-discipline to drive a truck, be on time, and get out of bed when you’re supposed to. They teach you that in the military.”

Brad Vaughn, vice president of driver recruiting for Maverick Transportation, says, “Veterans are accustomed to being self-sufficient. Veterans are accustomed to being away from home. Veterans are accustomed to being in a very structured environment. When you take a veteran who has been on multiple tours, being gone a week is not a big deal to them.”1

Russell Melton Jr. is another veteran driver for Stallion Transportation who applied his seven years of military driving to a truck driving career.

“They both have the same philosophy: hurry up and wait. I would say the Army teaches you patience,” said Melton. “Anything can happen out here on the road; you can have protesters blocking the road for hours, and when this truck’s sitting, I’m not making a dime. You’ve got to be patient.”1

DMV.org2 lists these reasons why military veterans make good truck drivers:

  • Situational Awareness – Truck driving can be hazardous, considering it involves driving a multi-ton truck. Awareness of your environment is crucial for the safety of everyone on the road. Situational awareness is a necessary skill for military service.
  • Dependability—Truck drivers should be dependable people. They must stay on top of their runs and mileage and ensure deliveries are made on time. Military personnel are required to be dependable additions to their teams.
  • Leadership – The website says it the best: “No matter what your rank was, it takes leadership traits to be a military member.”2 Leadership means taking the initiative to do what you need to and setting a positive example for others. The trucking industry needs drivers with leadership skills!
  • Teamwork – Moving cargo across the country takes more than one person. Although most CDL truck drivers’ jobs may involve driving solo, dispatchers, cargo haulers, warehouse workers, and operation managers are just a few involved. Accomplishing missions in a military team is excellent preparation for the career.
  • Mental Stamina – Military service requires a lot of focus and mental strain. Truck driving also requires mental stamina to avoid Highway Hypnosis and fatigue after long hours.

There are many veterans in the trucking industry already!

  • B. Hunt reports that about 20 percent of its employees are veterans1
  • Johnnie B. Hunt served a stint in the Army before starting J.B. Hunt
  • USA Truck founder Robert Powell was a Navy aviator
  • The president of Fort Smith-based ABF Freight, Tim Thorne, served in the Army
  • Veterans make up 23 percent of the Fort Smith company’s employees

Veterans can often apply G.I. Bill ® benefits to truck driving schools and may even be exempt from certain portions of the skills test. They may also qualify for hiring bonuses or other benefits from carrier companies. Visit our veteran’s page for more information.

If you’re a returning veteran, know there is a perfect career path for you in CDL truck driving! Contact a Roadmaster representative today!


For returning military veterans, first, let us say Thank you for your service.

Starting a new career after the military isn’t always easy, but knowing where to look can help. The trucking industry, for example, is a great place for military veterans entering the civilian job market to find new opportunities with great potential.

Not only are there a ton of jobs available due to the current driver shortage, but many of the skills and attributes that veterans develop while serving can also be applied to professional truck driving.

Some military jobs develop skills directly related to truck driving, like driving military vehicles or operating heavy machinery. However, several other skills and qualities that many veterans gain simply from being in the military, no matter what type of jobs they had while serving, also apply to the trucking industry.

Here are ten skills and qualities that translate from the military to truck driving and how they can help military veterans excel within the industry:

Situational Awareness

Knowing your surroundings at all times is imperative in the military. In Trucking, this skill is a core component of being a safe driver. From knowing where other vehicles are around your rig at any moment to monitoring developments in road conditions, weather changes, route detours, and more, paying attention and having situational awareness give veterans a leg up in Trucking.


Veterans know how to get things done efficiently and effectively. Logistics like route planning are essential in Trucking because efficiency is critical to keeping costs down, not only the fuel costs for the carrier but also the price of the consumer products that the drivers deliver.


This goes hand in hand with situational awareness and knowing your surroundings, but adapting to those dynamic situations is another skill altogether. Whether you’re driving regionally or cross-country, conditions can change instantly. Just like service members must adapt to and overcome evolving circumstances, professional truck drivers must, at times, be able to adjust based on sudden changes in road conditions, weather, other drivers’ actions, and more.


In the military, there are times when you must be able to stay focused on the task at hand for an extended period. Returning veterans who maintain this ability have a definite advantage in Trucking, mainly because most drivers begin their careers driving over-the-road (OTR). These long-haul trips can last several weeks, so maintaining physical and mental stamina is vital.


Military veterans understand the importance of responsibility and accountability for their actions. Professional truck drivers need to have a similar sense of accountability because they are responsible for getting shipments to their destinations — often on the other side of the country — safely and on time.


Service members must rely on one another in order to achieve objectives. The military depends on this teamwork to function. All personnel must work together in the trucking industry to keep things running smoothly. From operations managers and dispatchers to the drivers themselves, if one person isn’t on the same page as the rest, it can significantly impact the entire operation and cause shipments to be delayed.


There’s a definite pride that goes along with being in the military. From the work to their uniforms, these serving men and women take pride in all they do. As a professional truck driver, it’s essential to take pride not only in the critical role you’re playing in helping the country but also in your truck’s cleanliness and appearance. Out on the road, how you dress, act, and take care of your truck says a lot about who you are, but it also reflects on your company and the trucking industry.


The military is based on respect. The whole system revolves around respect for your superiors, fellow service members, and yourself. In Trucking, that same respect goes a long way. Being courteous to everyone you encounter — from the dispatchers to the people you’re delivering cargo to and the fellow drivers you’ll meet — is one of the best ways to move up within the industry while earning that respect for yourself.


Patriotism means supporting, defending, or being devoted to your country. After your military career, becoming a professional truck driver is a great way to continue supporting the country because Trucking keeps the economy moving. Truck drivers are why groceries are on the shelves at local supermarkets; medical supplies are in hospitals, and more.


This is more of a long-term quality, but it’s just as important as the rest. In addition to the men and women out on the road, the trucking industry always needs instructors. A good instructor teaches students how to drive and acts as an example of how students should carry themselves. Veterans who become instructors or take on other leadership roles are also in a great position to pass on all of the skills on this list to new drivers, which helps the trucking industry to continue down the right path for years to come.

Some companies even have programs designed to put veterans in a position to be an example for fellow veterans. In Werner Enterprises’ Operation Freedom Tour, for example, select military veterans drive a special fleet of trucks to raise awareness for fellow veterans and those who may wish to join the industry.

As you can see, if you’re a returning military veteran, the trucking industry is a place where you can apply the skills and qualities you developed while serving. Not only can you excel as a driver, but there are also plenty of ways to branch out into related careers within the industry. Whatever your path, the trucking industry is a great place to build a whole new career after your time in the military.

It all starts with getting your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Make sure whichever program you choose to help you get your CDL accepts the Post 9-11 GI Bill ®. Roadmaster Drivers School, for example, agrees with these benefits.